Bellator Announce $1,000,000 Lightweight Grand Prix

American MMA promotion Bellator have unveiled an exciting new tournament for 2023.

Eight of the promotion’s finest lightweights will battle it out with a staggering $1,000,000 purse up for grabs. Among the contestants is none other than Bellator Lightweight Champion Usman Nurmagomedov, whose title will be on the line throughout the tournament.

Usman Nurmagomedov
Photo via Instagram @usman_nurmagomedov

Another major name confirmed is former Bellator Featherweight Champion and 2021 Featherweight Grand Prix winner AJ McKee. McKee recently wowed audiences with his elaborate entrance and impressive, technically sound fighting performance at the Bellator vs. Rizin event.

Former Bellator Lightweight Champion Patricky Pitbull, former Rizin Lightweight Champion Tofiq Musayev, former UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson, Alexander Shabliy, Sidney Outlaw, and Mansour Barnaoui will also be competing.

It’s an exciting time for Bellator as they’re coming off of a five-fight clean sweep over Rizin at their recent crossover event.

Bellator Grand Prix Could See Nurmagomedov vs. Pitbull II

At Bellator 288, Usman Nurmagomedov extended his undefeated streak to 16-0 with a unanimous decision win over Patricky Pitbull. The win made the 24-year-old Dagestani phenom Bellator’s new Lightweight Champion.

With both men now entered into the tournament, it’s not impossible that a rematch could occur before 2023 is over. Their exhausting first bout saw Pitbull survive a good deal of Nurmagomedov’s dominant offense. While the cousin of legendary UFC lightweight Khabib Nurmagomedov won the fight, he was unable to finish the wily veteran.

Pitbull, meanwhile, is 1-3 in his last four fights, with some pundits questioning if perhaps wear-and tear-is catching up to him. How much he has left in the tank will no doubt be tested soon enough when the promotion’s top lightweights clash with the title and the money at stake.

Do you think Usman Nurmagomedov can retain his championship through the tournament and win $1,000,000?